22 July 2020
Bethany’s sermon series on the national parks reminded me of why I love wild areas of nature so much. Although I haven’t been to that many of the national parks, the ones I have been to have given me a lens to look at the world in a different way. I think living in cities with all of the noise and associated goings on, can cause us to experience tunnel vision with respect to how we see the world. Being in a national park, or even just a wild area of nature, without all of that normal background noise makes it easier to clear the mind, to relax, and take a deep breath. It can help us to refocus on what’s important in our relationships with other people, our relationship with ourselves, and our relationship with God.
What is it that we hear on a normal day? What is it that we see on a normal day? I love being in the middle of a forest and hearing the whispers of a breeze gently humming through the branches of a tree. I love being able to sit at the edge of a river and be mesmerized by water swirling around big rocks and carrying small bits of driftwood along. I still have a small piece of driftwood that I pulled from the edge of a river in Colorado when I was a kid, exploring along the river with my sister. Whenever I hold that piece of driftwood, I can still smell the river and the trees, and hear our laughter as we walked along in the warm sunshine.
When we go through a normal day, what is it that we’re focused on? Would we be focused on the same things if our normal day was in the middle of a national park? Can we refocus our minds to see beyond the normal humdrum of our existence and recognize the bigger view of the world around us? Sometimes I can go in my backyard and see flowers blooming or a hummingbird in a dance to find sustenance or a place to rest its wings. I can walk out my front door and watch the swallows that live in the nest on our porch take flight to make sure that I’m not a threat to their young. All of these things are reminders that the world is bigger than ourselves, that our lives are all intertwined, and everything we do has an effect on those around us. If we can expand our vision, God can show us paths that we may not have ever been aware were there.
As we move forward in our journey together through these difficult and trying times, take time to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and try to imagine how God sees the world. If we can see beyond our tunnel vision, we might be able to help make the world a better place.
22 July 2020